If you are running a business online, you know how much social media impacts our lives. Social networks make the divide between our business and personal lives, almost inseparable. As small business owners, some of us need to realize how to take better charge over our business practices to avoid killing your social reputation.
Over the past few weeks alone, I’ve noticed a few things that have irked my nerves just a little (okay…more than a little, enough to make me want to write this post). These are some of the things I find are happening more and more and can have a negative impact on your professionalism and online social reputation.
1. Adding people to your mailing list without permission. This has been a big one blowing my mind almost daily and I must tell you is a HUGE No-No. Let me make this clear – if I DID NOT opt-in to your list, please don’t add me to it simply because we’ve had one or two email correspondence on an unrelated topic.
This does not mean because I sent you a reply, my email is full game. While we are on the topic, it is not okay to add me to your list simply because you have opted in to mine. Or, because we have exchanged contact information for the purpose of communicating somewhere down the line.
Give people the option to WANT to be on your list and the ability to learn more about what you DO or offer. Don’t assume because you have someone’s contact information, they want what you are selling. This is a very tacky way to build your list and do business and it is a waste of time for you because your unsolicited emails get sent straight to spam.
2. Not giving credit where credit is due. It’s great to share the useful content of others with your circle and across your social networks if you feel it will add value to the lives of others. It’s not great to not give credit to the original author of the content you are sharing. As entrepreneurs, our social media presence is a big deal and most of us work really hard to publish amazing work and content to help others, acknowledge those individuals for their diligence.
If you tweet a post, mention the author. If you share an inspiring quote from a friend or colleague, reference them by name. If you use a blog post, link back to where the original content came from. Using other people’s content in your blogs or on your website passing it off as your own is not only hurtful to your reputation, but is also plagiarism and copyright infringement which is illegal. At the very least, you can change the wording to make it your own.
This behavior is not a good look for you because it displays a lack of integrity and respect for others. (here is a nifty little tool you can use to see if someone is using your content.) Keep an eye on those who are not giving you proper credit (like I do…yea, I’m watching!)
3. Being an opportunity hopper. Of course we are all online trying to make money from our respected business endeavors, I get that. However, if you want to remain respected amongst your peers, potential clients and customers, don’t jump on the bandwagon for every cool new opportunity that comes your way.
Opportunities come a dime a dozen, that doesn’t mean every one is meant for you. If you don’t want to ruin your social reputation, you can’t appear to be in a new business every other week and asking the same people to join or partner with you.
Legitimate entrepreneurs and small business owners want to do business with serious people. Those who can COMMIT. If this is a common practice for you, it is time for you to make a decision about the direction you want to pursue before people dismiss you as someone not very credible.
As an entrepreneur building a business online, be sure that everything you do – from networking to daily operations, does not have a negative impact on your social reputation. Nowadays, it is almost all you’ve got!
What do you think? What are some other ways you have seen that can kill a social reputation? Share in the comments below: